Apr 28, 2013

Must Read Social Studies Mentor Texts~Create your own GRAPHIC NOVEL with a Freebie :)

Hi~I'm linking up with Stacia and Amanda over at Collaboration Cuties with a Must Read Mentor Text for Social Studies. :) 
The book that I want to share with you today is Amelia Earhart: Legendary Aviator.    I do a huge graphic novel unit using parts of this resource from Teacher Created Resources found at Teachers Pay Teachers. I'll be honest, I've never been a big fan of graphic novels until this year.  But if you really dig into them, there are so many things there waiting to be learned and analyzed.  It's been one of my favorite units this year.  
During the unit, we used many books from the Graphic Library Collection that fit our Social Studies standards.  This year my students have really taken an interest in Amelia Earhart, so I was happy to start the unit with this graphic novel about her
During the unit, we studied many different literary elements that are prominent in graphic novels, working towards 2 culminating projects at the end of the study.  One was a fictional graphic novel that they created themselves focusing on the literary elements we found and studied during the unit.  A second project was a narrative nonfiction graphic novel that required some research on whatever topic they chose to use for their second graphic novel.  They simply had to find a story from history that they wanted to retell, find the information they needed from several sources, and then recreate the story in graphic novel form.  We created a rubric of several elements that needed to be included, and I gave them one copy of a very simple template to get them started.(Grab it here if you like.)  They drew the rest to create their own format.  Many of the students referred back to the Amelia Earhart graphic novel and others in the nonfiction collection to use as models for their own nonfiction pieces.

If you haven’t used graphic novels with your students, I encourage you to give them a try!  There are so many strong literary elements found in these books, and so many wonderful nonfiction graphic novels have been written, that they are easily integrated into content areas and make great jumping off points on lots of different elements of good literature. 

Plus, my kiddos eat them up… and for me, that’s what it’s all about!
Take a moment and click over to visit Collaboration Cuties to see the other Social Studies Mentor Texts that have been linked up today.  

Thanks for taking the time to stop by.  I would love to hear what you think about graphic novels and how you use them in your classrooms.  I would also love for you to connect to follow if you haven't.  I am working on my first 100 followers. :)  It's the little things that make me happy! ;)


  1. My students love Graphic Novels, but I don't think I have any on my shelf that are based on historic events. I will have to be on the lookout for some. That would definitely make history come alive for some of them!

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  2. I love graphic novels!! Love LOVE them! My boys especially love them. It really inspires my reluctant readers of nonfiction to try something other than fiction. When I check out our graphic novels from the media center, I can never find them in my room when I want them because they go from child to child (they take turns reading them and I hear, when you're done with that one, can I have it?).

    Thanks for the freebie!!!
    Collaboration Cuties

  3. We have a couple of graphic novels in our guided reading series that I use but I love the way you described how you teach with them (I just wishlisted the TpT unit you mentioned). I love that they create their own graphic story afterwards - pinning this idea for sure!!

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  4. This idea looks awesome! Some of my boys are REALLY into graphic novels - I'm always on the look-out for them at book stores.
    Whenever I assign a book report project, one of my "options" for them to choose from is to create a comic strip of one scene from the book. It's usually my most-popular. But I have never done a complete project where the kids make a graphic novel - I will have to try that!

    Thanks Brandee!

    Joy in the Journey

  5. My students LOVE graphic novels and I love anything that keeps them reading and learning. I have not heard of this series. They are now on my list of "must find books" for my classroom library. Thank you for such an informative post!

    Foreman Teaches

  6. I need the Amelia Earhart graphic novel. Our DRA Level 38 is about her. The kids have to pass her before I can test them on a DRA Level 40 Fiction. Many struggle with this task. Even though I know they can read on a higher level. Thanks for sharing! I'm pinning it.


  7. Amelia Earhart was a favorite of mine since about fourth grade on because of a biography from my teacher's library. Hopefully these books will spark a lifelong love of history.

    School Is a Happy Place

  8. My students really like graphic novels too. Thanks for the great ideas to use with them!

  9. I think graphic novels really intrigued the boys in class. I didn't realize they made nonfiction ones! Great idea!

    Learning With Mrs. Brinn

  10. Very interesting post this week! I would love to find some graphic novels appropriate for second grade. Would the Amelia Earhart text be appropriate for a higher second grade group? I am looking to bundle some books related to the same person, and Amelia is one that I already have a biography and historical fiction selection for. Let me know what you think! As a former fifth grade teacher, I am a bit out of the loop with current texts... :0(

    Sarah @ Hoots N' Hollers

  11. I have an awesome set of graphic novels to go with our study on the American Revolution. The kids loving reading them, but what a cool idea to make the study of them into a chance for them to create their own. I can't wait to try this idea next year!

  12. I love what graphic novels offer kids, especially highly visual kids. I also love comics for the same reason. (When my son was younger, he developed an intense interest in ancient history, all because of Larry Gonick Jr's Cartoon History of the Universe.)

    Thanks for sharing with Great Books for Kids G+ community!

  13. I love this idea! Thanks for sharing. My students love graphic novels so I am sure they would love this!


  14. This is great! I did a similar project with comic strips at the beginning of the year during a Fun Friday activity. My kiddos were really engaged in the drawing and story telling but I really like how you really explored the genere and made it so academic! Thanks for sharing the freebie too! I'm your newest follower! :) Lattes and Laughter

  15. Yay! I'm your 100th follower! :) Thanks for stopping by my corner of the world, and thanks for sharing so many great tips! I will definitely be visiting again!

    Flamingos and Butterflies

  16. Okay, I just added 20+ books to my Amazon wishlist. My kids love graphic novels and I have a few series in my classroom already, but I love the biography connection. Thanks for sharing!


  17. Hi! I teach 5th grade in Ohio, and my students absolutely LOVED graphic novels. Whenever a new graphic novel was added to the classroom library, there'd be a stampede to see who would get to read it first. LOL! I've never thought of using graphic novels for instructional purposes, but I have to admit that your post has me thinking. Quick question. I know that your students have two composition notebooks that they use for the year and that you teach 5 units in the fall and five more in the spring with the new notebook. But, do you combine both writing AND reading lessons into the same notebook? And if so, how do you organize it? Thanks so much for your blog! You have such fascinating ideas.


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